The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term for the ever growing number of internet connected devices that fall beyond the realm of your typical laptop, desktop computer or smartphone.
Many of us already own and use IoT devices on a daily basis, these could be anything from "smart" versions of appliances like refrigerators, thermostats and coffee machines through to your expected IoT devices such as Amazon’s Alexa & Google’s home speakers.
All of these IoT-enabled devices represent a challenge for developers and security professionals as they tend to generate a huge amount of logs which can be tedious to manage without an efficient log management system.
In our latest post we’ve welcomed feedback from a few of our favourite technology sources on just why logging for IoT devices can be so hard to scale.
How Does Log Management Benefit IoT?
When asked for comment, Jack Zmudzinski, Senior Associate at Start Nearshoring spoke on the following big data considerations regarding IoT; “Firstly, we need to understand that large scale IoT projects are underway all the time and have a direct impact on the world around us.”
“While logs were initially used to monitor and debug systems, they’ve become more, rather than less important as IoT has evolved; particularly within M2M communications where it's vital that the system is managed efficiently in order to avoid down time due to bugs and issues.”
“The whole point of the IoT is that devices and systems should be able to do their job with a minimum of human supervision and, so, in my opinion, log management and IoT logs will become even more important within the next couple of years.”
“This is because it's more important than ever that individual devices can connect wirelessly and effortlessly manage the flow of huge amounts of information, regardless of form, factor, service provider or operating system.”
Smart Home Logging
Tristan Perry, Software developer and owner of IoT/Smart Home based blog Smart Home Point kindly contributed his thoughts on how logging for IoT devices differs from logging for typical servers, systems & devices;
“IoT devices are typically more interconnected and interdependent than many other systems and services, due to the requirement of seamless interoperability with other IoT devices.”
“This means that effective log management is especially important in IoT devices because otherwise important data transmissions, events and actions could fail, but not be detected due to poor log management.”
“Equally, IoT devices are playing an increasingly important role in our homes - be it via smart thermostats or internet-equipped fridges. Unfortunately these often have no fallback or backup system, meaning that a software bug could cause real human impact (such as cold houses caused by Nest thermostat bugs).”
“Effective logging from IoT devices to a centralized source is also therefore important so that potential issues in these household IoT systems can be discovered and fixed.”
Abdul Rehman, Cyber security editor at VPNRanks considers one of the biggest trends in IoT for the next year are Smart Homes, he details; “According to me, the biggest and flourishing trend in IoT in 2021 would be smart homes. Smart home tech is already pretty much everywhere but in fact it's only restricted to developed countries, in a year we will see it penetrating the markets of developing nations as well.”
“However, this also brings a lot of risks.”
“These devices can malfunction and are vulnerable to being hacked. Log management helps you keep track and monitor all the activities performed by the device and helps you identify any external intrusions or any abnormal activity to prevent cyber-attacks.”
Industrial IoT Considerations
Justin Silva, CEO at Momentum IoT detailed some of the considerations that need to be kept in mind for industrial IoT platforms; “As an industrial IoT platform that combines hardware, software, and cloud, logging for our IoT devices (Eagle 1) is critical for our business.”
“Since our business logic happens in the cloud and not on the edge, we have to be able to go back at any point in time and replay what happened to a device.”
If you require a scalable and centralised solution for log management to track your IoT devices then consider Logit.io, our managed ELK platform is built on high availability Elasticsearch, Logstash & Kibana to make managing a wide variety of log files, retention periods & varying data volumes easy.